The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is looking to support homeless shelters on-Island so they can open to the public.
Because of COVID-19 health guidelines, the warming shelters and overnight shelters provided by organizations like the Houses of Grace require additional measures to be taken if they are to open this cold season.
According to the Rev. Vincent (“Chip”) Seadale, rector at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Edgartown, the first step to providing shelters to homeless people through the Houses of Grace Island Winter Shelter Program is to find a large enough space to accommodate everyone.
“In a perfect world, we would get a large space with enough square footage so there isn’t a lot of aerosol loading,” Seadale said. “If we have 15 or so people with a couple of staff, that is going to require a larger building than St. Andrew’s.”
Seadale said the discussion regarding finding a space for the shelter, and hiring staff and a full-time coordinator, is ongoing. “The conversation right now is knowing whether or not this might be a go soon,” Seadale said.